Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

LmL

Astronomy of Planetos: Children of the Dawn, Part One

Recommended Posts

And let's not forget that Rhaegar "usurped" Robert, in Lyanna's affections and by marrying her. Yes yes, that interpretation denies Lyanna's agency, but it's how it was seen in Westeros, and certainly how Robert saw it.

Which would make Jon a "usurper's son", in the eyes of some.

It seems like some of the roles are permanently hung on people - I've never seen Davos be anyone but Eldric Shadowchaser / Lightbringer, for example - but other times someone may be a usurper for only one metaphor. Anyone that is named a usurper could potentially be used by George in a scene to stand in for the Bloodstone Emperor - all he has to do is call them a usurper in the scene so we know to think of them that way, something like that. Stannis calls Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy, and Joffrey Baratheon usurpers specifically, and Ned calls himself a usurper before egis death. I haven't looked for usurper metaphors for all these people - I am simply talking about how I am seeing George build his metaphors. Even though Edric Storm, as the son of the usurper, can be Eldric Shadowchaser, son of the BSE, Robert himself is only associated with bulls and Garth the Green, both sacrificial characters. It's important keep your thinking flexible and just follow the text of a given passage and see what George is trying to say in that specific part. He always gives clues - if Sansa is playing the fire moon, he'll mention her hair catching the candle light or her heart being afire, something like that.

I thought your point about our hypothetical son of AA and Jon Snow both having more of their mother's in them was dead on the money. That one is bouncing around in my skull a little bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems like some of the roles are permanently hung on people - I've never seen Davos be anyone but Eldric Shadowchaser / Lightbringer, for example - but other times someone may be a usurper for only one metaphor. Anyone that is named a usurper could potentially be used by George in a scene to stand in for the Bloodstone Emperor - all he has to do is call them a usurper in the scene so we know to think of them that way, something like that. Stannis calls Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy, and Joffrey Baratheon usurpers specifically, and Ned calls himself a usurper before egis death. I haven't looked for usurper metaphors for all these people - I am simply talking about how I am seeing George build his metaphors. Even though Edric Storm, as the son of the usurper, can be Eldric Shadowchaser, son of the BSE, Robert himself is only associated with bulls and Garth the Green, both sacrificial characters. It's important keep your thinking flexible and just follow the text of a given passage and see what George is trying to say in that specific part. He always gives clues - if Sansa is playing the fire moon, he'll mention her hair catching the candle light or her heart being afire, something like that.

I thought your point about our hypothetical son of AA and Jon Snow both having more of their mother's in them was dead on the money. That one is bouncing around in my skull a little bit.

I hear what you're saying about GRRM's allusions being scene-specific. If he is building on these profound, universal themes (like how children inevitably usurp their parents' place by the simple act of growing up) then they should work as well in the microcosm of a scene (even if the characters themselves are not an intrinsic part of the main thematic story), as they do on a grander, macro scale.

Long story short, it's helpful to develop a way to hold multiple lenses in view when considering a particular scene.

As for the mother/son thing... It's so prevalent in the story that I'm honestly not sure if we're delving into GRRM's myth-building here, or more directly into his personal experience. Not to be crass or anything, but there's a lot of distant, cold, stern and downright dangerous fathers; and a lot of loving, downtrodden, almost venerated mothers whose absence is keenly felt. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although as someone pointed out in another thread, with Ned and Cat this pattern is reversed. Ned has mercy and kindness, even to his detriment, while Cat is hard and cold and stern, even becoming "mother merciless." But this seems like a deliberate inversion, so I thin your pattern may still hold.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought your point about our hypothetical son of AA and Jon Snow both having more of their mother's in them was dead on the money. That one is bouncing around in my skull a little bit.

If you try to generalise the broadest possible theme from this, it might be: the act of sacrificing what you hold most dear will defeat your purpose. Whatever you gain is marked by what you sacrificed to get it.

Jon is Lyanna's, just like the "son" (or sword or whatever else the "holy grail" is) of every Nissa Nissa stand-in is hers (her life, her strength...), and not his father's.

Exploring the theme in this way doesn't necessarily require the father to be a bad character, since he may actually face a horrible and legitimate internal conflict: to get the son who will save the world, his wife must die giving birth to him. He may do the "right" thing and even trick his wife to ensure their son is born, but he isn't getting out of this undamaged or smelling of roses; when your heart is in conflict with itself (that again) and you are forced to act, you're hurting something you love one way or the other. And one way or the other, you are doing a reprehensible thing, which will never be "worth it" to those who are directly affected by it (like say when your son finds out that he was planned, with his mother's death a key component of the plan).

That might cast a different light on the BSE/AA story too, re motives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some fresh comet stuff for everyone... I finally found a picture of the eclipse comet of 1948:

https://mobile.twitter.com/cosmos4u/status/597409047336382464/photo/1

I also did a bit of digging to find out how long a sun-grazing comet might appear in the sky before it goes around the sun and comes back around the far side. Comet Ison was first spotted in September of 2012, but took until November of 2013 to reach perihelion (the point of its orbit which passes closest to the sun). Comet Ison did actually perish in the sun's fire, as it got just a little too close. But the point for our red comet is that it took over a year to complete one half of its visible orbit inside the solar system, which means that the red slash Barristan sees at the ADWD may well be the red comet returning. It also means that if the comet was traveling clockwise around the sun, as opposed to the counterclockwise orbit of Planetos, it can easily pass close to Planetos on both sides of its orbit. Thus, the apparent behavior of the comet in the story does seem plausible.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comet_ISON

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some fresh comet stuff for everyone... I finally found a picture of the eclipse comet of 1948:

https://mobile.twitter.com/cosmos4u/status/597409047336382464/photo/1

I also did a bit of digging to find out how long a sun-grazing comet might appear in the sky before it goes around the sun and comes back around the far side. Comet Ison was first spotted in September of 2012, but took until November of 2013 to reach perihelion (the point of its orbit which passes closest to the sun). Comet Ison did actually perish in the sun's fire, as it got just a little too close. But the point for our red comet is that it took over a year to complete one half of its visible orbit inside the solar system, which means that the red slash Barristan sees at the ADWD may well be the red comet returning. It also means that if the comet was traveling clockwise around the sun, as opposed to the counterclockwise orbit of Planetos, it can easily pass close to Planetos on both sides of its orbit. Thus, the apparent behavior of the comet in the story does seem plausible.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comet_ISON

Nice work on the comets visible orbital duration. I have looked a few times, but had trouble finding anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice work on the comets visible orbital duration. I have looked a few times, but had trouble finding anything.

It seems like the speed, size, and orbit of comets can vary to a wide degree. Clockwise, counterclockwise, big, small, fast, slow... Some only return every several hundred thousand years or so. Mostly I think this creates enough wiggle room for George to make his magic comet do what he needs it to do to match his themes of sacrifice and resurrection. It seems like he's bending the rules of science a tad here and there, but ignoring them completely.

For example, a prolonged eclipse is absolutely 100% impossible - not even impossible, worse than that - it's nonsensical. For a moon to eclipse the sun over anything more than a smalł part of earth, the moon would have to be almost the same size as earth. To eclipse the entire planet, it would need to be BIGGER than earth. On top of that, the moon would have to suddenly stop orbiting the planet (impossible), yet remain held to the planet by its gravity (more impossible) and somehow stay perfectly positioned between the planet and sun (impossible). Therefore, we can safely rule this scenario out, because it's simply nonsensical.

George shows a pattern of personifying nature as being magical - obsidian is cooled lava rock, therefore it's "frozen fire" and contains the essence of fire magic. He's taking a scientific fact - obsidian is literally cooled (frozen) magma (fire), and simply translating this according to the idea that the natural forces are themselves magical. If fire is magical on Planetos, then frozen fire is frozen magic fire - and this is how it acts. It's not pulled out of George's ass, he's personifying natural laws in a magical sense. Dragons act like volcanoes, the Others are arctic winds personified, etc. The scientific aspects of things have a corresponding magical aspect. George is building his magical properties off of natural ones, not inventing them wholesale.

Thus, the prolonged eclipse idea has no corresponding natural explanation or mechanics - it's purely irrational in nature, and thus I see it as wholly inconsistent with the nature of magic in ASOIAF. On the other hand, the comet striking moon idea is more or less scientifically plausible, with the added accelerant of magic to make the explosion grandiose enough. It also is a much closer match to the text, which always has the sun taking the active role of slaying his moon wife, and with the moon wife always dying in childbirth. A destroyed moon is a sacrifice to save the earth, which fits with George's themes of death paying for life and Nissa Nissa being a sacrifice. An eclipse, however, has entirely different connotations, thematically. This would make the moon the bad guy who blocked out the sun. Nowhere is any idea like this suggested that I know of. I can't think of any lunar people that block the sun king's light. Nissa Nissa didn't smother AA or prevent him from shining.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another comet which has taken a year to reach perihelion from time of first first sighting, and now they may land a satellite on it, just for kicks:

http://sen.com/news/rosetta-team-propose-ending-mission-by-landing-on-comet

Here's a hilarious article about the same comet where a bunch of "scientists" are trying to figure out why the comet is sending off jets from its dark side. Haven't they been paying attention to ANY of this dark lightbringer stuff I've been saying? :lol:

http://sen.com/news/rosetta-catches-jet-erupting-from-comet-s-dark-side

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you mean? It's not in my material, because it doesn't seem like a plausible idea to me. It came up in the discussion of the first thread, and Voice of the First Men is stubbornly clinging to it like a lemur on piece of driftwood (heh heh nuttin but love, you big cuddly ice spider you). There isn't really a case to be made for it, apart from interpreting the sun hiding its face as an eclipse and then just saying "well, it's magic, it happened somehow." But that's hella weak when we have all this text about the moon being destroyed and lunar wives dying in childbirth, and considering the arguments I put forward above about the nature of magic in ASOIAF being built off of scientific principles.



I do think there was an eclipse at the moment of the moon's destruction, and these clues are being interpreted by some as saying that the eclipse caused the Long Night, but of course I am seeing the eclipse merely as an alignment which occurred at the moment of impact.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I misunderstood, and since I wasn't familiar with it, I felt like I had missed it somehow. No I tend to agree it is horrible, but I wanted to look at it before I said so.

I think there is pretty clear indication in TWOIAF that it is an axial tilt issue.

"Septon Barth appeared to argue, in a fragmentary treatise, that the inconstancy of the seasons was a matter of magical art rather than trustworthy knowledge. Maester Nicol’s The Measure of the Days —otherwise a laudable work containing much of use—seems influenced by this argument. Based upon his work on the movement of stars in the firmament, Nicol argues unconvincingly that the seasons might once have been of a regular length, determined solely by the way in which the globe faces the sun in its heavenly course. The notion behind it seems true enough—that the lengthening and shortening of days, if more regular, would have led to more regular seasons—but he could find no evidence that such was ever the case, beyond the most ancient of days."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, I just noticed that the reference to the woman with the monkey tail came from the Jade Compendium. That's interesting as it was Measter Aemon's go to source for reliable information on Lightbringer. He left a copy for Jon.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, I just noticed that the reference to the woman with the monkey tail came from the Jade Compendium. That's interesting as it was Measter Aemon's go to source for reliable information on Lightbringer. He left a copy for Jon.

The woman with the monkey tail bugs me so much. There's gotta be more there, it feels so random.

I've discussed this elsewhere, but I think there's a couple of points in the worldbook where GRRM intentionally creates confusion / obfuscates the story, by using literal translation from a language Yandel presumably doesn't know. This was a common source of problems in translations in the real world, where the initial translator isn't familiar with colloquial expressions and translates them literally, and subsequent interpreters then pass them on as literal.

I think the BSE taking a "tiger woman" to wife is an example. Yi Ti is full of fearsome tigers, so I suppose they'd think of them in similar terms as Westerosi think of wolves or other dangerous animals. They're not exotic, they're a threat. A "she wolf" in Westerosi would have a very specific non-literal meaning; in England, Isabella of France was known as the She-Wolf of France (which is also the name of one of the books from the Accursed Kings series, which GRRM raves about as an inspiration for ASOIAF).

I think a "tiger woman" in Yi Ti means the same as a "she wolf" in Westeros; this was a dangerous (perhaps foreign) woman, but not actually a literal "tiger" woman.

So I wonder if the problem of literal translation could also be applied to the woman with a monkey tail? Are monkeys considered good luck in Yi Ti, or somehow connected with the gods? Is "having a monkey tail" an expression for being somehow marked/chosen by the gods (like when the CotF say "you have the greensignt" - if you didn't know what that was, you'd think they just saw green).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LML pulled out a passage a while back from when Daenerys was a Vase Dothrak, I believe, and there where merchants here from Yi Ti who were wearing has with monkey tails. Everyone agreed that there had to be some kind of link. I wonder if the monkey tail hat is specifically a male gender fashion item, and that wearing one made our hero some sort of 8000 year old variant of Brienne, So basically yeah, I agree with you on the translation issues.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

**POOF**

Dany liked the strangeness of the Eastern Market too, with all its queer sights and sounds and smells. She often spent her mornings there, nibbling tree eggs, locust pie, and green noodles, listening to the high ululating voices of the spellsingers, gaping at manticores in silver cages and immense grey elephants and the striped black- and- white horses of the Jogos Nhai. She enjoyed watching all the people too: dark solemn Asshai’i and tall pale Qartheen, the bright- eyed men of Yi Ti in monkey- tail hats, warrior maids from Bayasabhad, Shamyriana, and Kayakayanaya with iron rings in their nipples and rubies in their cheeks, even the dour and frightening Shadow Men, who covered their arms and legs and chests with tattoos and hid their faces behind masks. The Eastern Market was a place of wonder and magic for Dany.

[...]

Behind one stall an armorer displayed steel breastplates worked with gold and silver in ornate patterns, and helms hammered in the shapes of fanciful beasts. Next to him was a pretty young woman selling Lannisport goldwork, rings and brooches and torcs and exquisitely wrought medallions suitable for belting. A huge eunuch guarded her stall, mute and hairless, dressed in sweat- stained velvets and scowling at anyone who came close. Across the aisle, a fat cloth trader from Yi Ti was haggling with a Pentoshi over the price of some green dye, the monkey tail on his hat swaying back and forth as he shook his head.

(AGOT, Daenerys)

**POOF**

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lord Pepsi, I have come down to two possibilities for the monkey tail woman and the tiger woman. Either it's like you say - this is simply a case of a garbled folk tale (tail) which we aren't meant to unravel (there has to be at least ONE of those, right? Right?); or, it's a reference to skinchanging and /or human animal hybrid experiments. I documented the human animal hybrid horror show the Valyrians ran at Gorgossos in my OP, but the point is, greasy stone was nearby, and Valyrian magic was used. Valyrian magic is most likely based on GEotD magic to a large extent, and the Bloodstone Emperor had the greasy stone of course. Meanwhile, the "Holy Isle of Leng" is the land of ten thousand Tigers of something like that, and they have super intelligent apes. Sothoryos is right nearby, too, and it reeks of "dumping ground for magical mutant hybrid experiment failures," know what I mean? Most likely Sothoryos (Africa) was originally home to the Summer Islanders (the black people), as remote island populations always come from SOMEWHERE. They have very vague, Dawn Age memories of colonies in Sothoryos, but I suspect it was the other way round. They were driven off by all the monsters unleashed by the BSE's theoretical hybrid experiments...

Or else the mere presence of greasy stone in the jungle is enough to create mutants and monsters. This may explain the Deep Ones, or at least their emergence from the waters to mate with (rape) humans, which they seems to have done at some point in the distant past.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I knew there was another monkey tail incident, but I couldn't remember it.

So I just reaaaalllllyyyyyyy want to know what monkey tails signify to the Yi Tish.

Perhaps it really is something as prosaic as her being a hybrid experiment who led a kind of "hybrids' revolt" against the BSE. They now wear monkey tails in her honour (as she IS what ended the LN in their stories). It might have been such a revolt that overthrew him (and what he turned the GEotD into). Was her name Yin Tar? That seems to be Yi Tish name for the Lightbringer/Shadowchaser character.

And if she were a hybrid, she of course would have an origin story in a kind of conception and birth, making her a not impossible Lightbringer reference... ;)

In fact, if dragonlords were a dragon/human hybrid created to allow BSE to control dragons, making th dragonlords a kind of a weapon in the hands of the BSE, then it might make sense that they participated in any revolt, as the most powerful weapon.

Perhaps that's what hides behind the strange story of the "ancient Ashaii" teaching the Valyrians about dragons and then "disappearing" from history.

More interesting would be to find out that the FM or the Andals are in some way descended from a hybrid population.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the monkey tail woman was the leader of a revolt, perhaps that's a subtle reference to "guerrilla fighters?" ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two other things about the monkey tail woman:

A hat with a monkey tail sounds like a skinned monkey worn as a hat - is this a skinchanging clue? It well could be. Remember when the monkeys attacked Victarion's ships? They ran like hell from the R'hllor magic, perhaps they are natural enemies.

A woman with a monkey's tail is going to be Daenerys with Tyrion as an advisor. A tail. Who's a monkey. Well, a twisted little monkey demon, at least. ;) This could be interpreted as a link between the Amethyst Empress and the monkey tail woman. Remember that Nissa also means "helpful elf," so she may have been a cotf type. The Isle of Leng may be the place where the God Emperors took their wives, as their rulers are now called the God empresses, so perhaps all these ideas meet up there. The Old Ones may be some kind of version of elf, as the Lengi have golden eyes with sound somewhat like those of the cotf, and the Lengi probably interbred with the Old Ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^ Interesting. Maybe those different savior legends in the World Book are references to popular fan theories about the expected saviors in the Long Night 2.0.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×